The European Broadcasting Union, the body that organizes Eurovision, has now responded to the growing number of media reports concerning allegations of voting fraud and rule breaching during this year’s contest.

In a statement released on the EBU website this evening, Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest (pictured above), said that the integrity of the contest must be upheld:

The millions of viewers in Europe and the contestants, who have put heart and soul into their performances, deserve a fair and transparent result.  […] I have been around at the Eurovision Song Contest since 1998, and every year there are rumors about irregularities in the voting. Particularly this year, we felt it was time to firmly deal with these rumors.

Regarding the Lithuanian press reports on Azerbaijan’s alleged attempt to buy votes, Jon Ola Sand responded:

We are looking into this case, but would emphasise that the intention of these individuals have not yet been clarified, and nor has a link been established between the individuals in the video and the Azeri delegation, the Azeri act or the Azeri EBU Member Ictimai TV.

The statement goes on to specify that, based on criteria established by the EBU and televote processing platform Digame and overseen by a PwC observer, votes garnered through any instances of power-voting are disregarded.

Regarding the vote recount undertaken by Azerbaijan due to the nul points awarded to Russia, the EBU’s response was as follows:

The combination of televotes and jury votes, each bearing a 50% influence on the outcome, did not result in a top 10 position for Russia in the overall result from Azerbaijan. Therefore, Azerbaijan awarded Russia no points – a result confirmed by a notary onsite, by our voting partner Digame and by an independent observer from PwC.

Jon Ola Sand added:

The first duty of the EBU, as organiser of the Eurovision Song Contest, is to its Members, the public service broadcasters in the participating countries (Ictimai TV in Azerbaijan). We believe that the Song Contest’s apolitical spirit is a cornerstone of its enduring success, and we will do all we can to protect it.

The EBU claims that any form of political pressure exerted on professional juries that affects their complete independence is a violation of the Rules of the Eurovision Song Contest, and would be duly dealt with.

With regards to the national jury irregularities, the EBU felt the need to specify that:

To assure a fair jury voting, judges are asked to sign a document declaring their independency, and are asked to submit details about their professional background. The jury voting is overlooked by an independent notary who confirms to the EBU and PwC that the voting has been conducted in accordance with the Rules.

As for possible consequences, Dr. Frank Dieter Freiling, Chairman of the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group, the event’s governing body on behalf of EBU Members, stated:

Let me be clear on this. If we find any clear evidence that the Rules are being breached, including attempts of power-voting, we act immediately to do what we are obliged to do on behalf of the Members: to protect the Eurovision Song Contest brand.

At the end of the statement, the EBU revealed that, based on all criteria laid out in the Rules, the independent observers from PwC had confirmed the validity of the result of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.

While we digest this response and monitor developments in this unprecedented post-Eurovision string of scandals, what do YOU, the readers, the fans and the televoters, make of this response? Do you buy the EBU’s statements? Or do you think that this is just the tip of the iceberg? What shall we make of the EBU’s blatant refusal to accept the Azerbaijani president’s findings? And what about the Italian jury, who clearly didn’t comply with the EBU rules?

Read our exclusive interview with Thomas Niedermayer, the head of the EBU’s voting system. We spoke with him a few days before the Eurovision grand final—and before all these scandals emerged.

Photo credit: ebu.ch.

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Jake
7 years ago

No matter if some one searches for his vital thing, so he/she desires to be available that inn detail, so that thing is maintained over here.

Moonlightexpert
Moonlightexpert
7 years ago

Jim Chang, all your comments are a always about Azerbaijan (anti) and pro-Armenian. i doubt somehow you are not Armenian. Show me a post where you don;t sympathise with Armenia and don’t ridicule Azerbaijan… None! Exactly and very suspicious 🙂

lala
lala
7 years ago

Let me Explain Montenegro has a population of not even half a million ….. So I bet you they didn’t even receive 1000 voted…. or even way less that that because none of the Former Yugoslavian countries were in the final You think people would vote… They probably did not follow the Final at all as broadcaster compete with each other. For Example here in Albania Big Brother Final is always on Eurovision Grand Final is done on purpose because the private broadcaster(TOP CHANNEL) wants to be a monopoly. They dont want to let the Albania public television who broadcasted… Read more »

Ibrahim T.
Ibrahim T.
7 years ago

Journalists are always looking for a scandal and quite often create it themselves. “Nor has a link been established between the individuals in the video and the Azeri delegation” so the Lithuanians video is a true scam. Let’s just leave this story to their

Croto Perrigrotto
Croto Perrigrotto
7 years ago

People, please don’t mix politics and music!!!!! Mind you own business!!! We’ve got an amazing TOP3 this year and they were the best from the first rehearsals!!! Emmelie, Farid, and Zlata you are true winners of Eurovision 2013!!!!!

Cieran
Cieran
7 years ago

It’s not about one particular country involved in it. There was an articles about Russia buying votes in Lithuania as well a scandal with Romanian votes in Italy. They really have to revise the whole voting system next year to stop such scam.

lala
lala
7 years ago

@Julian well said… But sometimes you can’t get over good song not making it for example Turkey in 2011 , Austria in 2012 … Poland 2010 … They deserved final and know to learn that the votes are being played it hurt. Unfortunately I believe the roomers. And I am suspicious.. but EBU will cover it up because they want the contest to go on and live…. trust me nothing is going to come up… 🙁

Julian
Julian
7 years ago

There is an easy way to have a fair winner of the Eurovision contest. All public voting is known eventually and (at least for me) it doesn’t matter who organises the contest next/each year. So we should do a recount of points only taking into consideration public vote and find out who the public vote winner is. It should be recognized as such and then let history decide which one is more deserving.

Universal Music Hides Info

It’s pretty easy. Show the votes from televoting and the jury. Give the public all information. Where is your transparency now, mister “I live in a democracy, be transparent” sack of corrupt shit.

Martin Kenny
Martin Kenny
7 years ago

It’s nice to get some reaction, but I don’t know how it’s all going to work out.
Hm, guys, btw, take a look at this – http://www.lithuaniatribune.com/38309/russians-buying-lithuanian-votes-before-eurovision-final-201338309/
Just pop-up at my alerts about ESC.

Eric
Eric
7 years ago

Maybe it is really a good idea to recount votes? To see that everything is fair? And anyway Azerbaijan did deserved second place, at least for the best staging that indeed stood out from the rest! For me, anyway. Voted myself for Farid, for Ukraine, for Greece. All of them were great on stage!

lee gilford
lee gilford
7 years ago

Really? Voting was ok? Let me ask only one question:
All the Bulgarians, Serbians, Macedonians and all the other Balkan people, in their countries and all over Europe (!), didn’t vote this year for their entries as they used to do? So, none of them reached the final! 🙂
The claim that voting was ok is nothing but an insult for an (average) IQ! 🙂

Julie
Julie
7 years ago

@Piksey ? ????????? ?????? ??-??????, ?? ???????????, I’m Ukrainian:))
My point was about an article, not about this particular video. I think all system needs some changes and it’s time for EBU to think about it! That’s all!

Danutz
Danutz
7 years ago

Well, Mr Sand gave some answers, but he didn’t actually say anything… I would be very curious to see what the results would have been with only the televoting being taken into consideration. is this possible to see?

Kyle
Kyle
7 years ago

On one hand, I don’t put much stock in the annual allegations of voting scandals. However, this is a pretty defensive reply by the EBU, which raises doubts in my mind. It looks like Jan Ola Sand’s sole response is to put faith in a notary. “We had a notary who said it’s okay” sounds pretty flimsy. I’m sorry, but you’ll have to do better than that if you want people to put trust in a system. A better defense would be to explain HOW votes are counted, the process used, and to show a methodology that safeguards the results.… Read more »

Piksey
Piksey
7 years ago

@Julie ‘about Russia buying votes in Lithuania ” Well, Good morning dear! Really? Russia? The scammers in video spoke russian, but ethnically they are actually Belorussians. According your brilliant logic now is Belarus to be blamed. Anyway, the reason why, whoever hired them in Baku, chose russianspeaking people is because Lithuania used to be a Soviet state and people there even now do speak Russian. The Belorussians, unlike Azeribaijanis do look like Lithuanians. This is also very important moment. Thus, Russia has nothing to do with this fraudcase. In the video they say it clearly about number 20 and even,… Read more »

Kent
Kent
7 years ago

Yep, let’s recount everything! And let’s not forget to recount every vote after rules were changed for a first time in the Contest’s history. Have you got enought people to do it? Cause we can all provide our help!

Julie
Julie
7 years ago

It’s not about one particular country. There was an articles about Russia buying votes in Lithuania as well a scandal with Romanian votes in Italy. They really have to revise the whole voting system next year. Why they’re trying to be wise now, why not vefore the contest?

Catalina
Catalina
7 years ago

Why should people vote for their favorites in ESC next editions? Just for the fun of it? To make profit for the telephone companies??? We vote, we spend money and finally, 5 jurors can divert the results, can change totally the ranking??? I believe there’s no reason for the countries to spent time, money, invest hopes to participate in a contest with winner known in advance and strange/unclear voting rules that leave room to ….. ! Why would they do this? Good bye Eurovision!

Piksey
Piksey
7 years ago

Looks like EBU won’t getaway so easily this time since the scandal with the lost Russian points, that probably gone with the wind, is now, on the political/international scale. Russia’s P.M. S. Lavrov uses pretty harsh words.. such: ‘stolen points’, ‘this won’t remain unanswered’, ‘outrageous action’ etc.
And in Lithuania, the ‘Azero fraud’ case being investigated by nothing less that Prosecutor’s Office of Lithuania. So so.. I think it is time to rethink the EBU’s policy concerning participating countries and exclude some undemocratic troublemakers, they are just not ready to take part in such contests.

Umran
Umran
7 years ago

The voting system is corrupt, turkey had right…..

Fikri
Fikri
7 years ago

Ooh, I didn’t realize the update! Now I get it, thanks.

Fikri
Fikri
7 years ago

I don’t get the Italian scandal… So, the jury decided to rank Romania low (which I believe they should), how is that doesn’t comply with the rules?

Jim Chang
Jim Chang
7 years ago

I guess in 2009 when Ictimai TV (the same TV channel that EBU pledges its allegiance) blurred the number of the Armenian representatives was not a misconduct on their part but rather a violation that fell from the sky. EBU is pathetic. Less than a 2 days ago they were claiming that none of the reports regarding Azerbaijan buying votes were true, but some days later after the media gave its prompt attention to the matter, EBU is all of a sudden “investigating”. It will probably end with Baku paying some petroleum dollars to feed Jon Ola Sand.